In an age where Ipads and Apps have taken over the consciousness of young children, it is becoming increasingly apparent that the next generation of children are becoming less engaged with nature than ever before.
The video-game era has meant less time outdoors, and more time in front of computer screens and televisions, but one Italian design company is looking to change that.
Designers Gabriele Capobianco, Edoardo Capuzzo Dolcetta, Jonathan Lazar and Davide Troiani have released plans to create an entire preschool built around sustainable farming.
The innovative design would see the children attend school in open spaces surrounded by animals and vegetation, as opposed to the regular classrooms. Livestock pens and garden plots would surround these classrooms and nutrition, basic planting and food and nature would feature on the curriculum – as well as the necessary subjects.
“We think that kids should enjoy nature,” says Edoardo Capuzzo, one of the Rome-based designers. “So we designed this strange school: No classrooms, but open spaces where vegetables grow inside and animals can come in too. It’s a mixing of the two things, school and nature.”
The concept is based on a hands-on approach to teaching, whereby the children would interact first-hand with food and nature, therefore building up a connection in the early years that would continue on throughout their lives.
In addition to sustainable farming, children would also be introduced to the concept of renewable energy, through wind turbines and solar panels, which would help power the preschools.
“We tried to make a different way to learn,” lead designer Edoardo Capuzzo Dolcetta told Fast Company. “So not reading a book, or listening to a teacher, but experience directly based on practice.”
The designers see the concept being more beneficial to children who are raised in cities – who often have far less contact with nature.
“In the big cities, like London or Rome, we think that it’s very important to put out green space where kids can grow,” Capuzzo says.
Would you like to see this concept in your local community?